All pubs, bars, restaurants and other eateries in England must close at 10:00 p.m. on Thursday in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
The sector will also be restricted by law to table service only.
The measures will be determined by the Prime Minister in Parliament ahead of an address to the nation that will be broadcast live on Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. CET.
The UK Covid-1
Boris Johnson is also expected to emphasize the need to follow social distancing guidelines, wear face covering, and wash your hands regularly.
And according to newspaper reports, he will push people to work from home, where it will not negatively affect businesses.
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Government scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance has warned that there could be 50,000 new coronavirus cases a day by mid-October without further action – which could result in more than 200 deaths a day by mid-November.
An additional 4,368 daily cases and 11 deaths were reported in the UK on Monday. 3,899 cases were reported on Sunday.
Further restrictions will also be announced in Scotland on Tuesday, while restrictions on households mixing indoors will be extended to all of Northern Ireland.
Also starting at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, four other districts in South Wales will face new measures, including a pubs and bars curfew at 11:00 p.m.
The UK Cabinet will meet Tuesday morning and Boris Johnson will also chair a Cobra emergency meeting that will be attended by the leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Speaking of the new closing times, spokesman # 10 said: “Nobody underestimates the challenges the new measures will pose for many individuals and businesses.
“We know this will not be easy, but we need to take further action to control recurrence in cases of the virus and protect the NHS.”
Parts of the north-east and north-west of England, as well as Wales, already have stricter restrictions on pub and restaurant opening times.
What difference will it make?
People understandably ask what difference it makes to close at 10pm. In conjunction with the Table Service Act, it will be little more than a small win.
However, ministers hope the move, along with the rule of six that went into effect last week, will warn the public that efforts to contain the virus must be redoubled.
It remains to be seen whether this step will bring further restrictions.
Behind the scenes, both ministers and their advisors have argued over what is right and how much the public will tolerate.
It seems inevitable that the virus will continue to spread – which is exactly what respiratory viruses do in winter, especially when there is limited immunity and no vaccine.
But how fast and widespread is nobody.
The risk of suppressing the virus is that the government will soon have to make another decision on further steps to take.
How far are the ministers willing to go? Any restriction has a negative impact on society.
But the nature of the virus means that life will undoubtedly be lost the more it spreads. Weighing these two damages will determine the next six months.
Kate Nicholls, executive director of UKHospitality trade association, said the new rules should be “applied flexibly” and called for more support for the sector.
“A hard closing time is bad for business and bad for controlling the virus. We need to give people time to disperse over a longer period of time,” she said.
“Table service has been widespread in some parts of the sector since it reopened, but not required in all areas of business such as coffee shops.”
Michael Kill, executive director of the Night-Time Industries Association, said the announcement was “another devastating blow” warning that it would lead to “an increase in unregulated events and house parties.”
Christopher Snowdon, director of lifestyle economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs’ free market think tank, said the move “emerged from a random policy generator” and urged the government to release the underlying evidence.
“While mandatory table service has been part of the successful Swedish approach and has potential benefits, the new closure time will be devastating for a hospitality sector that has already suffered after the initial lockdown,” he said.
If Boris Johnson had decided a year ago to call the last orders in the pub at 10:00 p.m., the ravens might have left the tower.
Given the dire warnings from government leaders on Monday, the stringent measures ministers talked about, and the level of restrictions many people are already living with in some of our cities, you might wonder if this is the case Prime Minister ultimately decided that it was less strict than it could have been.
As we have mentioned many times before, Downing Street is well aware of the economic devastation that the restrictions related to the pandemic have caused.
Logically, therefore, it only wanted to do something when it felt absolutely urgent. It is also that when we step into a second surge, more will be understood about the virus itself.
That means the government should be able to take a more nuanced approach to managing the spread than blunt nationwide blunderbuss measures.
For now, at least, the prime minister has concluded that there is a close but real chance to stem the outbreak before further draconian steps are taken.
Read more from Laura.
New measures will also take effect in Lancashire, Merseyside, parts of the Midlands and West Yorkshire starting Tuesday.
Other areas in England, Scotland and Wales are already on-site locked, with restrictions including a ban on mixing with other households.
The Prime Minister’s announcement of the closing times comes after a series of meetings over the weekend, including with the Chief Medical Officer of the Government, Prof. Chris Whitty, Chancellor Rishi Sunk and Health Minister Matt Hancock.